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Full text of "My Country And My People"

SOCIAL    AND    POLITICAL    LIFE           193

losing one of his legs. Anybody who think? face is good enough
to compensate for overweight luggage in an aeroplane ought
to lose his leg and be thankful for it.

So it seems that while it is impossible to define face, it is
nevertheless certain that until everybody loses his face in this
country, China will not become a truly democratic country.
The people have not much face, anyway. The question is,
when will the officials be willing to lose theirs? When face is
lost at the public courts, then we will have safe traffic. When
face is lost at the law courts, then we will have justice. And
when face is lost in the ministries, and the government by face
gives way to a government by law, then we will have a true
republic.

VIII. THE VILLAGE SYSTEM

In the absence of the social mind, how is philanthropy possible
in China, and what forms have collective enterprises for public
good taken? The answer is to be found in the village system,
which is the family raised to a higher exponent. The pastoral
background which developed the personal system of running
National Museums also developed a village consciousness,
similar to the growing civic consciousness of a New Yorker or
a Chicagoan. From the love of the family there grew a love
for the clan, and from the love for the clan there developed an
attachment for the land where one was born. Thus a sentiment
arose which may be called "provincialism," in Chinese called
funghsiang kuannien, or "the idea of being from the same
native place." This provincialism binds the people of the
same village, or the same district, or the same province to-
gether, and is responsible for the existence of district schools,
public grainage, merchant guilds, orphanages, and other
public foundations. Fundamentally, they spring from the
family psychology and do not depart from the family pattern.
It is the family mind enlarged so as to make some measure of
civic co-operation possible.

In every big city on the coast or inland there are inevitably
a number of provincial or district guilds, like the Anhui Guild,